06 Dec 2017 20:10pm
WINDHOEK, 06 DEC (NAMPA) 31 workers of DYS Diamond Manufacturers were issued with retrenchment letters on Monday.
Of the 31 retrenched workers, ten are Indian specialists and 21 locals, including three pregnant women and two on maternity leave.
Speaking to Nampa here on Tuesday, one of the retrenched workers called the action unfair, claiming that they were issued with the letters after the Mineworkers Union of Namibia (MUN) communicated to the company that the workers were going to demonstrate on Tuesday.
We were not given any notice, we were only told yesterday (Monday) that it will be our last day of work and that we are no longer allowed inside the company after Monday, said another retrenched worker.
Several of them however claim that the Indian specialists who were also retrenched, were on Tuesday inside the premises working.
We do not even know what criteria they used in their selection, this is pure victimisation and intimidation of workers, said another worker.
MUN Central Regional Organiser, Sakaria Simon said the retrenchments came as a surprise to them, as the union has been consulting the DYS management on salary issues for the past six months and at no point did the management communicate their intention to retrench workers.
The letters do not even have company letterheads, it is as if someone did not wake up well and decided, I want to get rid of this one and that one', Simon said.
Approached for comment by Nampa on Tuesday, DYS General Manager, Edwin John said due to the nature of the business, the retrenched workers were not allowed inside for security reasons.
He said they however remain on the payroll until 15 January 2018 when the retrenchment will be effective.
John said a meeting with the affected workers and union will be held on 13 December to discuss dismissal packages, conditions and alternatives of dismissal and the criteria of selecting the dismissed workers.
DYS is a joint venture between Dalumi Diamonds, Yerushalmi Brothers and Sahar Atid Diamonds, which are three major international diamond manufacturing companies.
The company employs over 100 workers of whom over 70 held a peaceful demonstration on Tuesday, expressing their dissatisfaction with their employers decision to cut their December salaries.